We present the previously unreported complication of symptomatic heterotopic ossification of the quadriceps following placement of a large-diameter Steinmann pin for the purpose of temporary skeletal traction. Following the development of distal quadriceps heterotopic bone formation in three patients, we conducted a comprehensive search of the literature using the Medline database from 1966 to the present. A variety of publications, including review articles, case reports, and randomized prospective studies, were used for the literature review. This potential complication should be considered when using a large-diameter Steinmann pin in the distal femur for skeletal traction.